Disclaimer: It is hard and challenging to pick 50 tracks from the thousands upon thousands that dropped this year. It is merely an attempt to list my favorite cuts of 2012. Click the links to listen to the song! I think it’s a great list. There were a lot of great songs crafted this year and I know I left off some good ones. I listened to 5,000+ tracks from 2012 alone this year, so as an artist, if you made this list you know you are on the forefront of my iTunes!
1. Megatron Mindstate – Spit Gemz, Shaz Illyork, and DJ Brans brought the banger of the year early on in 2012. For me this track just set a standard that could not be surpassed. The beat was epic and the rhymes intermingled the streets with theology to provide a brief but concentrated delivery of dope.
2. Tragedy Text – RP from the Loyalty Digital game me the chills literally with this track about texting and driving and anyone who can provoke that type of response deserves to be acknowledged. One of the great conceptual songs in the last five years.
3. The Greatest Mother Ever – Rashid Hadee provides one of the great sarcastic songs of our lifetime with this joint.
4. Little Bunny Rabbit – Locksmith does angst so well. He raps with a chip on his shoulder and delivers devastation to and and all in his path, in part to his little buddy.
5. Lo Siento Amigo – Dub Sonata x Double AB brought a lot of flavor and context to this joint. Dub Sonata conjures a little latin boom bap and Double AB continues to be one of the best story telling emcees in the game, narrating a tale of romance, deception, and karma.
6. Local Artist – I could have honestly used any on the cuts off of The 17ths FREE EP. It’s a damn great EP and you can listen to it through and through. But this cut puts the listener in the shoes of your “local artist” and his life.
7. Under Their Radar, Over Their Heads – Illmaculate has always delivered dope bars but the production on this joint combined with the lyricism made this a sure shot for out Top 10.
8. Heaven - While this is not on any particular album, Mike Beatz provides an amazing banger for the fans and the visuals from the video give you that serial killer feel. I can’t wait to hear more from this man in 2013.
9. How Do I Survive – Emilio Lopez and Falside link up for another banger that just makes the listener get out of the seat and get amped.
10. Dirt In The Ground – Premrock’s reworking of Tom Waits music is impressive and this joint is the closing cut. It’s very innovative and poignant.
11. Rare Flow – Serge Severe and Jon Belz bring you that rare Portland air with this ‘rare flow’ over Terminill production.
12. J.O.Y. – Copywrite features Torae and Jason Rose for this outstandingly soulful song.
13. My Condolences – Snake Hollywood released this beast of a track towards the end of the year and it instantly bypassed 95% of the other tracks out there. Really dope rhymes.
14. Yesterday’s Gone – Swerve and Co$$ define soul in hip hop with this track. Just something to put you at ease.
15. 3AM – Journalist 103 is prone to drop a gem on em’ and this is one of my favorite tracks from his most recent album.
16. Burn It Down – Gotham Green and Quickiemart bring you a track to tear the club up. A 1940s club that is because this joint bumps with a nostalgic vibe. Very unique.
17. Waiting In Vein – Mayhem drops one of the best storytelling joints this year. You will just have to listen to this one and follow along.
18. Problem Solver – Vinnie Paz brings in the legend, Scarface for this song off of his most recent album.
19. Futuristic – When is ‘The Wolves’ project going to drop because this collaborative deal between Shabaam Sahdeeq, Eddie B., and Harry Fraud is type ill.
20. Check My Resume – Substantial rocking over some Oddisee beats is the sure shot.
21. Don’t Hate – Of Mice and Musicians are trying to convince the listener they are doing it for their benefit…so don’t hate. Also, this is off of a great album so make sure you cop that!
22. Big Bro – Fatal Lucciauno dropped a real raw ass album and this song is the crem de la crem.
23. Sorry - Alias & Fakts One apologize for the vicious cycle on this joint but not their dope music.
24. Mr. Governor – The duo of Soul Khan and Akie Bermiss again deliver a dope song with this conscious cut.
25. Drowning Man – Cas Metah and Wonder Brown offer a Christian message in the form of dope hip hop rhythm accompanied by Copywrite and Elias.
26. Digi Box - C-Rayz Walz pays homage to the hip hop internet scene.
27. Rock To The Rhythm – Ruste Juxx and The Arcitype drop thisself explanatory joint but in the illest, and most high energy way possible.
28. Price & Shining Armor – When Sean Price and Ruste Juxx combine, it’s nothing but a win for everybody.
29. Unfukwitable – Red Eye and company rock over a DJ Bless beat making this the best posse cut of the year. Hands down.
30. Sushi – Ras Kass is my all-time favorite emcee and he shows and proves his place in history once again with this track.
31. Monte Carlo – King Mez and producer Commissioner Gordon once again combine for this audio masterpiece.
32. Jansport Strings – Skyzoo and the horns are a formidable combination.
33. Above The Sky – Apollo The Great is one of the best surprises this year to me. His album is immaculate and this track is one of my favorites.
34. Terminate On Site - CF drops another tough joint. Last year he brought ‘that fire’, and this year he ‘terminates on site’.
35. Humid Nights – JR&PH7 link up with The Kid Daytona for a soulful joint off their most recent project.
36. Success – The Audible Doctor and Chaundon showcase their verbals over the former’s tightest productions.
37. Walk With The Lions – When Swedish producer Pause Beats comes out with his album in 2013 you will recognize. A lot of talent on this track.
38. Knob Creek – JustMe, Marcus Wilkerson, and Sheisty Khrist give you a spiritual, soulful and bluesy vibe that this liste needed.
39. Rabbit Season - Craig G is an OG. He deosn’t care about end of the year accolades but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve them. He once again shows these youngsters how it is done…proper. Kids….go get your shine box!
40. the Last Great – This is the title track off of MaLLy & The Sundance Kid’s album from this year. It’s such a different sound and the two work great together.
41. Blame The Label – The Narcicyst asks you to take a leap of faith with him which is easy when he drops an infectious track like this!
42. Unlearn – Reks and Numonics kill the game with this track. These are two of my favorites in their selected fields. You can’t listen to this without stopping what you are doing and paying attention to the music,.
43. Appreciation – Speaking of ill combinations, Donnie Darko and DJ Bless continue their run with one of the best track this year. Darko has a lot of power in his voice and Bless in his beats.
44. Sandstorms – This list needed another ill posse cut and who better to deliver than Blacastan, Emilio Lopez, Outerspace, and V-Zilla? No One.
45. Holy Smokes – You don’t remember Mr. Complex do you? Well, I personally think he is one of the most interesting emcees in the game. A great talent with a great sense of humor.
46. People - Falside ain’t right for this as he asserts his force on this Juan Deuce track featuring Romen Rok. Real ill!
47. The First 48 – Apollo Brown and OC brought you one of the illest albums this year and this song typifies that release. Dope beats and rhymes.
48. You Know Who You Are – Oddisee is a unique talent with an old soul. A producer extraordinaire with great lyrical ability.
49. Balcony – Are you down with the Mission? The Black Opera. You are either with us or against us.
50. Time 2 Roll – The Red Giants are not only smooth but also extremely dope and don’t tell me Jermiside can’t flow. This is ill lyricism and ability!